A ‘Sleeper’ returns

GARY RUE’S FIRST SONG Saturday, “When the Circus Comes to Town,” was inspired by Box Car Days. Photo / Per Peterson

Gary Rue still remembers sitting in a classroom in Ethel Saupe’s algebra class in the old Tracy High School and hearing a classmate behind him, beating paradiddles on his desk like a drummer wishing he had a drum.

That classmate was the late Steven “Tilly” Thielges. Rue turned to him and asked, “Do you want to start a band?”

Less than a year later, that band, P.J. & the Sleepers, found themselves on stage in Currie.

“We charged $2 and made $32 — think about that!” he said. “That was a lot of money then. We were too young to drive, so our parents had to come with us and take care of the door.”

See more in this week’s paper!